Since the first refrigerator was patented in 1834, the technology, cost, and ease of use has made it an essential part of the home kitchen of today. General Electric (GE), one of the leading producers of refrigerators in the world is being modeled as the manufacturer of choice because they possess the diverse technological know-how to improve this product. GE was chosen as the model manufacturer because they exhibit the forward thinking traits and large business diversification to prepare a technology roadmapping study. This paper will utilize technology roadmapping to create a plan for how GE could focus their effort and resources in their refrigeration business unit to develop a refrigerator in the future which will harness the market drivers to capture more of the market share. Technology Roadmapping is collaborative process first developed by the CEO of Motorola and allows to experts and researchers in the field of study to determine the market drivers, technologies, products/components, and resources. These items are put to a time line during the iterative initial steps then are connected through links. The benefit of using this method in this study is that it allows many different market drivers that consumers have to develop a refrigerator that largely meets those needs. In essence, GE wishes to find out the market pull to develop technologies that push consumers more towards their refrigerators. This study will show that technology roadmapping can be successfully used to create a plan of action over a time span of only 20 years that will integrate existing refrigerator technology and identify gaps in those technologies. The refrigerator GE ultimately creates for this hypothetical future is not set in stone which comes from the fact that market drivers and other issues may change. Technology roadmaps are not commandments for an organization to follow, but must be adapted as new knowledge becomes available.
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Jiang, Jing; Thompson, Justin; Al-Mulla, Nameer; and Boulos, Zina, "TRM for Household Refrigerator" (2013). Engineering and Technology Management Student Projects. 434.